(Notse, GNA) – Togbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State has said Africa could remain underdeveloped until the physical borders between nations and other ‘unfriendly trade policies’ were removed.
He, therefore, called for the urgent removal of the trade barriers that were inhibiting free trade among West African states, who, he said, were traditionally farmers and traders before colonization.
Togbe Afede made the call at the weekend at a grand durbar to climax this year’s Agbogboza, a cultural festival of the Ewes at Notse, Togo, the ancestral home of Ewes.
He said it was, particularly, odd that people of the same ethnic group could not trade among themselves because they fell within different geographical and political boundaries.
The celebration marked the 50th Anniversary of the formal recognition of the Eweto-Ewe Kingdom, in Togo. The event attracted Ewes across the globe.
Togbe Afede, who led Ewes from Ghana to the festival, described West Africa and Africa as a ‘huge market’ and expressed optimism about the fortunes of Africa should the barriers be removed.
He emphasized the need for political leaders on the Continent to promote trade among Africa nations to unite the people.
Togbe Afede also asked the leaders to commit themselves to the wellbeing of their people and work towards enhancing their livelihoods.
Togbe Agokoli IV, Ewefiaga, urged Ewes to uphold the Ewe culture and tradition and advised traditional leaders to promote the study of Ewe in schools.
He said Eweto was building a Cultural Centre at Notse and asked Ewe chiefs to submit important artifacts and sacred traditional objects and regalia in their custody to the Centre.
Madam Anate Muzolo, Minister for Information and Culture, Republic of Togo, commended Ewes for the foresight and urged them to remain united and guard their cultural values.
The festival attracted dignitaries, including Mr Awoumey Zounou, Prime Minister of Togo, some former Ministers of State of Togo, and members of the diplomatic corps.
Also present were Ewe delegations from Germany, Cameroon, Gabon and Cote d’Ivoire.
Togbe Afede on ascending the Asogli throne a decade ago, instituted the yearly pilgrimage of Ewes in Ghana to their roots in Togo to foster unity among Ewes in the world.
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